January 28, 2022
Dear UTFA Colleagues,
Below are three brief updates: on salaries, benefits, and workload bargaining; the COVID LOU; and Health and Safety. Several important meetings on each of these items are scheduled in the coming days and we will write you more detailed communiqués by the end of next week.
Salary, Benefits, Pension, and Workload Bargaining Update
We are pleased to announce that UTFA has reached a tentative Memorandum of Settlement with the University Administration on Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload matters. This agreement is subject to ratification both by UTFA Council and by the University Administration. As per UTFA’s governance structure, the tentative agreement will be presented for ratification to UTFA Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. We anticipate that the Administration will also confirm their ratification next week. If ratified by both parties, the full agreement accompanied by a summary will immediately be made available to the whole UTFA membership.
The COVID Letter of Understanding (the “COVID LOU”) negotiated by UTFA and the University Administration remains in effect.
Please be reminded that Article 4.2 of the LOU agreement states “the University will not require any individual faculty member or librarian to deliver any one section of a course both remotely and in-person (“dual delivery”).” “By “dual delivery” and/or “hy-flex” we refer to the activity of fully presenting the course material concurrently in two different modes, such as delivering the course in-person and then separately recording course material for remote delivery.”
UTFA is receiving many calls from members seeking to confirm this key entitlement is still in effect. It is, along with a series of other entitlements in the LOU. UTFA met with the Administration on the COVID LOU earlier today to discuss ongoing issues related to the LOU’s extension. We will share further information on the LOU with you next week.
Health and Safety
UTFA is continuing to meet with the University Administration about our members’ concerns with the return to in-person work. We have also been working closely with the leaders of student groups and union representatives at U of T and across the province.
UTFA understands that our members are working and living in complex and often pressured circumstances. We also hear from you about the challenges students are facing, and that you share their worries about their health and their studies. We all appreciate what a difficult time this is. We need to have a safer and more functional return to in-person work—and to collectively resist any false dichotomy that pits students’ interests against faculty workloads and health and safety. To that end, UTFA continues to work tirelessly on your behalf to create better conditions so that students, staff, faculty, and librarians are safe AND have access to what they need to teach, learn, and work.
UTFA’s next Health and Safety meeting with the Administration is on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. We will write to you soon after this meeting.
UTFA Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload